182 – Spoonauger Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 45′

Distance – 0.64 (out and back)

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 5

Solitude – 6

GPS Info: LAT 34.9746 LONG -83.1097

Last updated – 04-11-2017


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Spoonauger Falls is one of two major waterfalls on Burrell’s Ford Road in the Sumter National Forest. When combined with King’s Creek Falls, these two waterfalls make for a great half day adventure for the entire family. If you wanna make a day out this area, consider adding Issaqueena Falls and Yellow Branch Falls to the itinerary. Spoonauger Falls is a 45 foot tall steep rock face falls where the water trickles down a series of small ledges. The falls looks good with a good flow but too much flow actually will wash out much of the finer detail. On our visit the water conditions were just about perfect as was the lighting.

To get to Spoonauger Falls from Cashiers, follow NC107 South from the intersection with US64 in the middle of town for 13.1 miles to Burrell’s Ford Road and make a right. Along the way you will cross into SC and the road will become SC107. (From the state line it’s 4.9 miles to Burrell’s Ford Road). If you’re coming from further south, follow SC107 North from the intersection with SC28 for 10.4 miles and turn left onto Burrell’s Ford Road. Not long after the turn onto Burrell’s Ford Road, the pavement ends and the road turns to gravel. It’s in decent shape and wide enough for two cars to pass. But watch out for some rough patches. At 2.3 miles you’ll pass the parking area for Kings Creek Falls. At 2.5 miles you”ll reach the parking area for Spoonaguer Falls.

The hike begins at the kiosk and follows a mostly level grade as it makes it’s way to the banks of the Chatooga River and parallels it until reaching Spoonauger Creek. There is a small sign after you cross the creek, directing you up the trail to the falls. The first stop on this trail is a small waterfall on the right of the trail just as the trail reaches a sharp left switchback. Continue up the hill and follow the slightly uphill route to the river right side of the falls. You can shoot from the front behind the log or from the creek a little downstream. There is a smaller drop here so use caution if the rocks are wet.

The hike is kid-friendly and not very strenuous. The waterfall is very nice and makes for a nice photo subject with the exception of several fallen trees leaning against the river-left side of the falls. Neither tree was too big but both were big enough to prevent me from moving them. You’ll see them encroaching in many (but not all) of my shots!

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From behind the log on river-right – April 2017
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Without the leaning logs – April 2017
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From the middle of the creek – April 2017

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